Government gives the go ahead for the use of electronic voting machines in the next general election.

A new electoral system will mean an end to re-counts, no spoiled votes and the death of the legendary figure on the Irish political scene, the tallyman.

For the past one hundred and fifty years, we've been making our mark in the polling booth with pencil and paper. But all that’s going to change.

Over five hundred councillors were given a special demonstration of how the new machines will work at the annual conference of the General Council of County Councils in Monaghan.

The Ballot Box will be consigned to the museum.

Peter Greene, a Department of the Environment official, demonstrated how voters will be able to choose their candidates at the touch of a button using the new technology.

Under the new system, results will be known sixty minutes after the polls close.

Councillor Patsy Treanor of the General Council of County Councils is not fully convinced by the new system and believes it is missing the human touch.

The government is currently testing three different systems and it is expected that a decision on which to go with will be made over the summer.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 April 2000. The reporter is George Devlin.